Special Event: Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics

Join us for a Special Event at American University and Arena Stage in Washington, DC, on 11-13 June 2010

Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics
Photo of Amy Edmondson, Keynote Speaker
Amy Edmondson,
Keynote Speaker,
Harvard University
A Fuller Explanation
American University (AU)
School of International Service (SIS)
Nebraska and New Mexico AVE NW
Washington, DC 20016
Directions to American University SIS

Arena Stage in Crystal City
1800 South Bell Street
Arlington, VA 22202
Directions to Arena Stage in Crystal City

Pre-Registration is required. The registration fee is $175; $75 for students. Special rates are available for AU students and for each part of the event. Please fill out the on-line registration form. Please mail checks to Synergetics Collaborative; 240 Copley Road; Upper Darby, PA 19082-4016.

A schedule for the event is now available: Revisit Bucky Event Schedule.

Short Description:
In these times of crisis, we need to reconnect with visionary leaders like R. Buckminster Fuller (affectionately known as "Bucky") who can help us solve the critical issues of our time. The special event Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics will provide hands-on workshops to introduce fundamental concepts from Bucky's Synergetics, watching the Arena Stage's performance of R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE written and directed by D. W. Jacobs, and a series of lectures and discussions to explore how we can build on Bucky's magnum opus, Synergetics.

The Synergetics Collaborative, American University's School of International Service (SIS), and the Arena Stage present a special event Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics at American University and the Arena Stage on 11-13 June 2010.

The event will begin with a Friday evening reception at the new 70,000 square-foot, environmentally friendly SIS building that William McDonough designed. J. Marc Greuther, Chief Curator of Industry at The Henry Ford Museum (HFM), will deliver a keynote lecture. D.W. Jacobs, author and playwright of "R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE" at the Arena Stage will give a lecture.

On Saturday the program will involve three engaging hands-on & heads-on workshops building models to explore some of the basic principles of Fuller's Synergetics (a more complete description of the workshops is here).
  1. Joe Clinton will explain Bucky's Laminar Geodesic Dome and help us build a 14' diameter die-cut paper board model inspired by Bucky's patent (watch a video clip from Joe's 2007 RISD talk on Synergetics 100).
  2. Nick Tomlin, Professor John Belt, and Jack Higgins will lead a workshop on the Vector Equilibrium which will be featured in the play we will watch in the evening (in particular, Dennis Dreher's Octabug2 will be built and several other prototypes from SUNY Oswego will be available to study or purchase).
  3. Tim Havranek will lead a workshop to build models that help explain Bucky's closest packing of spheres and the isotropic vector matrix.

In building small artifacts on three of the most important parts of Synergetics (geodesics, the vector equilibrium, and the closest packing of spheres / isotropic vector matrix), participants will be primed to experience the performance at the Arena Stage in the evening with the benefit of a tactile physical experience of Buckminster Fuller's magnum opus, Synergetics. When you get home, be sure to show off your models to friends and family!

Saturday evening we will take an unforgettable journey inside one of the most remarkable minds of the 20th century by attending a performance at the Arena Stage of D. W. Jacobs' acclaimed play "R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE" (watch a video of D. W. Jacobs).

Photo of Thomas Zung, Buckminster Fuller architectural partner
Thomas T.K. Zung
On Sunday the program will start with Bucky's architectural partner Thomas Zung introducing SIS Dean Louis Goodman. Then SIS Assistant Dean & Project Representative Joseph Clapper giving a tour of the new SIS building (designed by William McDonough the renowned Bucky inspired "green" architect). . Bucky's last Chief Engineer, Amy Edmondson will deliver the keynote to Revisit Bucky.

There will be space in the AU SIS Building to display your models or art work, so please bring them along. During the Show-n-Tell on Sunday afternoon, we would love to hear you talk about your work!
In the afternoon we will hear presentations from Gus Jaccaci on "General Periodicity", Stephen M. Levin, MD on Bio-Tensegrity, and Martin Brennan (see a video of Martin with Harold Channer on YouTube) will talk about and demo his vision for the "Synergetics Exhibit Network". We will conclude the day by inviting participants to share their work with a "Show-N-Tell" (watch the video of Nick Tomlin's Show-N-Tell from our 2007 Symposium at RISD). The Show-N-Tell should lead into a discussion about Revisiting Bucky and Exploring Synergetics.

There will be a closing reception at Steve Levin's place in Virginia.

The event will offer an opportunity to discuss and share diverse viewpoints among the Synergetics community, the American University (AU), Georgetown University, and George Washington University (GWU), students, faculty, The American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and others looking to revisit Bucky and explore his magnum opus, Synergetics, in working to meet humanity's needs.

Please join the Synergetics Collaborative, American University, Arena Stage, AIA, ASID, GWU, Georetown University, students and others as we Revisit Bucky: Exploring Synergetics and work to understand how our world can be made to work for 100% of humanity at this special event on 11-13 June 2010.
"We have to recognize that every event and manifestation of nature is design, that to live within the laws of nature means to express our human intention as an interdependent species, aware and grateful that we are at the mercy of sacred forces larger than ourselves, and that we obey these laws in order to honor the sacred in each other and in all things. We must come to peace with and accept our place in the natural world."
--- William McDonough
Workshops Descriptions

The Workshops Description page provides more information about the three introductory model-building experiences for the 12 June 2010 program.

Housing Options

The event will be held at American University and at Arena Stage in Crystal City. So if you are travelling, you will want to find a place to stay that is close to both venues. American University has two documents on-line with lists of local hotels: Local Hotels and Hotels in the Metropolitan DC Area. We know that some early registrants are staying in Crystal City (which is closer to the Arena Stage since Saturday night's play will run until 10:30 PM) at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport or the Crystal Gateway Marriott, The Americana Hotel, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Reagan National Airport Hotel

Options for Parking in Crystal City

This site might help with finding parking in Crystal City for Sat night Dinner & Performance: Parking options in Crystal City.

Event Flyers

Thanks to Nick Tomlin and Sunhae Layna Cho of Rhode Island School of Design, we have two flyers for the Revisit Bucky event: Flyer 1 (JPEG format) Flyer 1 (PDF format) Flyer 2 (JPEG format) Flyer 2 (PDF format). Please post these flyers where they may be seen by others who might want to learn about Bucky and Synergetics.

YouTube Videos


International Participants
Information for international participants
About The Sponsors

Please send comments and suggestions to the Synergetics Collaborative webmaster.

Return to the Synergetics Collaborative web site